Why Internet Marketing Strategy Must Include Public Relations

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Tim Cascio, co-owner of GS Marketing Group, comments on why internet marketing strategies must include public relations

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Our clients are just now beginning to see how money once spent on trade advertising is better directed toward PR. It offers a much higher degree of credibility and, when combined with the power of the Internet, adds metrics and unprecedented reach.

With the economic downturn, executives eagerly seek ways to differentiate themselves from competitors and to build their brand and reputation. PR distribution through the Internet gives business marketers access to all traditional and new media types including newspaper, radio, TV, industry trade publications, consumer magazines and influential blogs. With the right tools at hand, marketers have direct and instant access to more than 500,000 media professionals, including editors, journalists, news directors, producers and industry analysts.

Tim Cascio, co-owner of GS Marketing Group, comments, "Our clients are just now beginning to see how money once spent on trade advertising is better directed toward PR. It offers a much higher degree of credibility and, when combined with the power of the Internet, adds metrics and unprecedented reach." Web syndication drives immediate exposure of press releases to web-channel publishers internationally, including those who also publish print publications. It's not uncommon for a distributed press release to get the attention of editors who request high-resolution photography or additional information to adapt the story for their readership.

Cascio says that it's an education process for small to medium sized businesses that haven't had much experience in Public Relations. He explains, "Often, PR is dismissed as part of a company's Internet marketing strategy, not because of its limitations, but because of a lack of understanding. Once clients comprehend that their subject matter expertise is sought by journalists who want to make a stronger connection with their audience, the possibilities begin to emerge."

Publishing has been one of the hardest hit segments of the economy. This bodes well for marketers willing to develop feature articles with and for understaffed publishers. "Our access to the 2009 editorial calendars of media outlets provides valuable insight as to whom to pitch, on which topics and when. Odds of a feature story, pick-up or mention for our client increases exponentially as our goals are aligned to that of the columnist, radio host or TV producer. We regularly receive heartfelt thanks from editors who are grateful we've reached out to them with our timely information, expertise and new product announcements," said Cascio.

Companies with a long-term publicity strategy benefit from putting together a digital media kit and making it easily accessible for media representatives to download. A digital media kit often contains a letter to the editor, media releases, biographies of spokespersons, common interview questions and contact information. "Anything we can do to simplify the job of the media is in our best interest," adds Cascio.

As for common misconceptions about PR, Cascio says, "It continues to surprise me that many C-level executives believe that to get press attention, one must be currently advertising in the same publication. This simply is not true. The integrity of a publication and its journalists are at risk if they abide by such a policy. Other misconceptions include a belief that PR comes at a high cost and without accountability. Marketing experts tend to agree, when business growth is the objective, dollar for dollar, PR wins over advertising nearly every time. Our technology to monitor media mentions and pickups provides the proof business marketers need to justify their investment. Furthermore, keyword-rich releases improve their search engine visibility, something every business has on their list of goals."

About GS Marketing Group
Founded in 1987, GS Marketing Group, Inc., offers strategic, integrated marketing services to help clients develop and execute highly focused marketing plans that are designed for brand building and growth acceleration. The team includes specialists in the marketing, creative design and information technology arenas. Strategy and services span print design, direct mail, public relations, e-mail marketing, website design, multimedia, e-business and search engine marketing. Work by GS Marketing Group designers was selected for seven awards from over 10,000 submissions in the 2007 American Graphic Design Awards competition conducted by Graphic Design USA. Custom-built software solutions include an insurance company's direct mail portal used at branch locations nationwide and a manufacturer's intellectual property portal used in offices worldwide. For more information, please visit http://www.GSMarketingGroup.com.


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